This book made me so anxious because it hit the “parental expectations and unintentional guilt trip” thing a bit too hard on the head and brought out that older child of immigrants syndrome right out onto the page.
This features a Jewish female protagonist who has OCD as well as a male Egyptian love interest. It deals with mental illness (OCD and depression) as well as being a child of immigrant parents and the kinds of ideals that are instilled because of that.
I personally really enjoyed this story even if it made me anxious because of how spot on Quinn articulated being scared to disappoint your parents because you don’t want to follow in the path that they’ve laid out for you. I really related to her because of that. She had a really fun and relatable inner monologue which made the book really easy and fun to read. Her sense of humor honestly was great. Sarcasm for the win!
Obviously, this was a great contemporary rom-com with the perfect amount of cheesiness. I really enjoyed it because it was cute and despite the drama being somewhat predictable, the relationships were really well done and I truly liked the exploration of family expectations and wanting to be your own person while also wanting to be a good daughter.
My one major complaint of this book is that Tarek was Muslim… except it was mentioned once in one paragraph (of course it was about pork) and then NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN. It bothered me a lot not because he was non practicing (which could have bothered me a lot more because that’s a stereotype I’m tired of seeing in media) but because it was mentioned that he was Muslim and then never mentioned again. If you took out the ONE PARAGRAPH with that little discussion, nothing about the book or the character changed. So it felt like it was just there for this extra brownie point when he could have just been Egyptian and that would have been absolutely fine.
Other than that, I did enjoy the book because of the discussions about mental health and family struggles and pressures but yeah, for those that read the book I would just keep the Muslim rep being kind of an annoying stereotype and unnecessary in the back of your mind.